GLENDALE – Senate Foreign Relations Committee influential chairman Robert Menendez spoke about the braver of the Armenian people in 1918 when they established Independent Armenia, and after 70 years of Soviet rule, again Armenians regained independence on September 21, 1991 and now are building their own country.
He addressed a crowd representing various political parties, organizations, philanthropic groups, social and athletic groups, California Armenian Writers Union, Ararat Home of Los Angeles, the Armenian Bar Association, Armenian Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical Churches, Compatriotic union Armenian Veterans’ Union, the Armenian media, and many others Saturday, September 21 at the Glendale Youth Center.
In his remarks, Menendez praised the Armenian community for its contribution to American society and the ANC for pursuing the rights of the Armenian people.
A forceful outspoken senator defending human rights in the United States around the world, a serious leader who questioned Bryza’s appointment as Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and other issues related to Armenia and Armenians, Menendez stressed a few times that the United States should stand tall and officially recognize the Armenian Genocide thus joining the phalanx of European union and 19 other countries who have recognized the Armenian Genocide. He said that history is well documented and there is no question about it. He even brought forward the quote by Adolf Hitler, when he said: “Who now remembers the Armenian Genocide?” before planning the holocaust. He responded to Hitler’s quote and said loudly “We remember it.”
His comments were interrupted by wild applause several times.
Dr. Vicken Hovsepian Delivered a Speech
Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee Dr. Vicken Hovsepian in his remarks stressed the importance of working together to defend and assist Armenia in many ways. He clearly pointed out the independence is an ongoing process and everyone should help Armenia for the national interest and preservation of independence.
The second idea which he represented was that independent Armenia is only a link and ring of the chain, which “symbolizes our ideals for a more democratic Armenia. If a link is missing then the chain is not a chain.”
He also pointed out that the dream of Armenians is to have a larger Armenia with more historic lands.
“Irrespective if where an Armenian lives, it is his or her service and the level of dedication that matters and not the soil on which he or she lives on. It is incumbent upon us to rededicate ourselves today, on this solemn and happy occasion, to the service of our nation, and to that link which we call the Republic of Armenia, in the name of the chain of our ideals.”
Representing Armenia’s Consulate General, Artak Galstyan addressed the gathering, highlighting the importance of the day, congratulated those present and all Armenians around the world, and talked about the important turning point in Armenia’s independence was in history.
The program began with the singing of the national anthems, with Glendale Youth Center’s Balabek Barsamyan welcoming the community to the celebration, which was concluded with a reception.